Wednesday 25 September 2019


Facial recognition part 2: privacy and rights

Silkie Carlo of Big Brother Watch

Advances in facial recognition are proving very controversial. On the one hand this technology allows for better interfaces with other systems, can significantly increase security and holds much promise for law enforcement. On the other hand, it appears to pose a meaningful threat to our rights, our privacy and our sense of self.

Banned in San Francisco, but increasingly deployed elsewhere, facial recognition technologies can not only detect who we are, but also ascertain how we are feeling. What scares us most about them? Errors? Bias? Or just the realisation that our personal privacy is rapidly ebbing away? And what can and should be done?

Silke Carlo

Privacy advocate, Silkie Carlo, is the Director of UK privacy and civil liberties NGO, Big Brother Watch. Previously she was the Senior Advocacy Officer at Liberty where she led a programme on Technology and Human Rights and launched a legal challenge to the Investigatory Powers Act.

She is a passionate campaigner for the protection of liberties, particularly in the context of new and emerging technologies. She has worked to uphold rights in the fields of state surveillance, policing technologies, big data, artificial intelligence and free expression online. She is the co-author of Information Security for Journalists.

Big Brother Watch is a cross–party, non-party, independent non-profit organisation leading the protection of privacy and civil liberties in the UK.